The Kootenay Blues Society’s first year in operation has been a huge success and we’d like to thank the Board of Directors, our volunteers, all 170 members, the venues that continue to host blues music, the blues artists – regional, national and international – and most of all, the folks who flocked out in droves to witness the healing power of the blues.

Recent Events

World class entertainers, Alabama Mike and Country Pete McGill arrived in Nelson from California on Sept 2nd , and after three days of rehearsal with some of our local blues musicians, they hit the road with a couple of KBS members in tow for a five night run through the West Kootenay, Okanagan and Shuswap. These two ambassadors of the blues, one from Alabama the other from Texas, testified to the unifying, transcendental power of the blues and had no trouble transporting every member of the audience to a Mississippi juke joint on a Saturday night. After the last show at Lorenzo’s in Enderby, Mike and Pete headed south on 97 and drove non stop to Oakland, California where Alabama Mike soon embarked on a tour of the Southern states with the Andy T. Band.

For our last show of the year, we were lucky to present JW-Jones on Oct 26th at Finley’s in Nelson. JW and band, on a North American tour to promote their new live album, put on an energetic and highly entertaining show which culminated with all the band members trading instruments and eventually all playing JW’s guitar at the same time. JW is a consummate professional and an exceptional guitarist who appears to have a boundless supply of energy. During two long sets of high energy blues/rock he paid tribute to all of his major guitar influences from Hubert Sumlin and Magic Sam to Jimmie Vaughan, with a tip of the hat to Clapton and Keith Richards. One of the highlights of the night was the Magic Sam West Side Boogie and a dynamic version of the Jimmy Rogers slow blues, That’s All Right. Holly Hyatt’s opening set was a flawless performance where she showcased her new single, the Memphis soul inspired, River Flows. All in all a great night of music and a perfect way to end the Kootenay Blues Society’s first year.

Click the link for the Art Joyce 

"Jamming the Blues - Interview with JW-Jones"


photo by Diane White

Planning for 2019

Already in the works for 2019: the annual Blues Brews and BBQ, co hosted by The Kootenay Blues Society and Kootenay Coop Radio, set for March 2, 2019 - SAVE THE DATE . Performers will be announced shortly. Also, we will hold our first AGM in mid March and will pass on the details to members once we get it all arranged.

Don’t forget to tune in to Kootenay Coop Radio for Make Room For The Blues, with your host, Richard Metzner Fridays at 7pm and re-broadcast at noon on Saturday


More favorite blues albums from 2018

C = Canadian

  • JW-Jones - Live - C
  • Colin James - Miles to go - C
  • Lindsay Beaver - Tough as Love - C
  • Jack De Keyzer - The Best Of - C
  • Tony Joe White - Bad Mouthin'
  • Walter Wolfman Washington - My Future is My Past
  • Andy T Band - Double Strike
  • Bob Corritore and Friends - Don't Let The Devil Ride
  • Larkin Poe - Peach
  • Paul Thorn - Don't Let The Devil Ride
  • Marva Wright - Marvalous
  • Billy F Gibbons - The Big Bad Blues

Stay tuned and may the blues be with you always. . . 


**Last Live Blues Show of the Year for the KBS**

7:30pm Friday, Oct 26th at Finley's in Nelson

JW-Jones, along with 2018 Maple Blues Award Bassist of the year, Laura Greenburg and the inimitable Will Laurin on drums are touring North America in support of the JW-Jones new album “Live”. The Kootenay Blues Society is honoured to present this young, up and coming blues man at Finley’s in Nelson on Friday Oct 26. Show starts at 7:30 with Holly Hyatt Band opening. Tickets are $20 and available at Finley’s.

JW-Jones - Video

Holly Hyatt - Video

About JW-Jones

Billboard Top 10 Blues Artist, IBC Winner and JUNO Nominee JW-Jones, based out of Ottawa, Ontario, is known for his high-energy shows and his searing axemanship has been praised by Blues Revue Magazine: “A fluid amalgam of T – Bone Walker’s big, bright chords; Johnny Guitar Watson’s slashing leads and Clarence “Gatemouth’ Browns jazzy sting.” Buddy Guy, the world’s most famous living bluesman, says “This young man is one of the people who will keep the blues alive”.

About the KBS

The Kootenay Blues Society - a newly formed, non profit society- has presented over ten shows in venues throughout the Kootenay/Shuswap region in 2018. The upcoming JW-Jones show will be the last presentation of the year. KBS has had a highly successful first year and would like to thank all the volunteers, venue owners, managers and staff and most of all, the blues artists and all the people who came out and supported live blues music.


With five highly successful events under its belt, the Kootenay Blues Society is off and running!





On May 28th the KBS fund raiser at Finley’s in Nelson started the ball rolling with stellar sets from four West Kootenay blues bands. The house was full, the dance floor packed and everyone wore a smile. It was great to see the blues community come together in support of the newly formed society.



July saw the Sonny Rhodes Blues Band play three great shows in the Koots. The highlight of the three-night run, being the show at The Balfour Beach Inn, where Sonny wowed the capacity crowd in the sunshine on the large patio underneath a huge tree.  As the lead off track on Sonny’s latest album testifies, “Sonny Rhodes is the blues”.  He is one of the last of the old school blues men - still out there beating the highway – and mentor to so many younger players.

Click --->  HERE to an article and interview that Sonny did with local writer, Sean Arthur Joyce, while he was in Nelson.



The three Sonny shows were quickly followed four nights later by an incredible, high energy, inspiring performance by one of the protégé’s. Sue Foley’s sold out show at Finley’s on July 26th was nothing short of spectacular. Backed up by only a bassist and drummer, Sue tore the place apart. From the opening strum of her paisley telecaster, played through a rented Fender Blues Deville, you could tell this was going to be a performance to be remembered. Playing with a thumb pick and bare fingers in a stripped down, Texas style, Sue made no bones about turning the amp up and going for it. She is definitely a guitar hero, but also an enjoyable singer with a sultry vocal style that suits her traditional approach to the blues.  


photo - Art Joyce

Writer and journalist, Art Joyce did a great interview with Sue Foley which you can view ----> HERE.



Alabama Mike and Country Pete McGill

Upcoming Blues Society events to feature Alabama Mike and Country Pete McGill in September, with five shows scheduled, including the Slocan Trading Centre on the 6th, Balfour Beach Inn on Sept 7th, Finley’s in Nelson on Sept 8th, The Fire Valley Concert Series in Edgewood on Sept 9th and Lorenzo’s in Enderby on the 10th.

  • Alabama Mike from Talladega, Alabama, is the lead singer, harmonica player and front man for the Nashville based Andy T Band. He has also just released a new album of his own, featuring The Fabulous Thunderbird’s front man Kim Wilson; and is the recipient of several past blues music awards including New Blues Artist Of The Year (2010) and Traditional Blues Male Artist Of The Year (2011).

  • Country Pete McGill from Texas has toured all over North America and Europe as a bassist, guitarist and singer and is one of the most sought-after bass players in the Bay area. He also fronts his own band, Country Pete McGill and The Cotton Field Blues Band. Together, these two real deal blues men put on and engaging and entertaining show.


JW Jones

In October KBS presents JW Jones at the Flying Steamshovel in Rossland on the 25th and Finley’s in Nelson on the 26th. JW, from Ottawa, has received 6 blues music awards and has been nominated over 20 times. He has released 10 albums - featuring the likes of Kim Wilson, Colin James, Larry Taylor, Hubert Sumlin and Charlie Musselwhite - and has played in 23 countries on 4 continents.

JW Jones will be bringing his trio with him, which includes the 2017 Maple Blues Bassist Of The Year award winner, Laura Greenberg. One of the highlights of a JW Jones show is the Grande finale, when the three musician’s trade instruments and all end up playing JW’s guitar at the same time.


from “Make Room for the Blues " on KCR, (no order , C - Canadian )   

  • David Vest - David Vest (C)
  • Sean Poluk - No More Hate (C) 
  • Sue Foley - Ice Queen (C)
  • Judy Brown - Say It (C)
  • Suzie Vinnick - Shake the Love around (C)
  • Boz Scaggs - Out Of The Blues
  • Ry Cooder - Prodigal Son 
  • Buddy Guy - The Blues Is Alive And Well
  • Beth Hart - Front And Center
  • John Mayall - Three for the Road
  • James Harman - Fine Print 
  • Victor Wainwright - And The Train 



Aug 1:  Bill Lynch and Jon Burden: Nakusp Summer Concert Series, Nakusp, BC


Aug 1: Baker Street Blues: Concert In The Park, Kinnaird park, Castlegar, BC


Aug 2: Holly Hyatt, Jon Burden and Clint Swanson, Gyro Park, Trail, BC


Aug 11: Various local artists: International Blues Day, Finley’s, Nelson, BC


Aug 18: Blues Brothers In Law: Prestige Lakeside, Nelson, BC


Aug 18: Judy Brown and band: Balfour Beach Inn. Balfour, BC


Aug 18: Holly Hyatt and Jon Burden: Grizzly Plaza, Revelstoke, BC


Go to the KBS Live Music Listings ----> HERE




As a new non-profit society, the KBS needs help from the community at large to help with growth and development.  We are currently seeking volunteers with non-profit experience including administration, grant writing, minute taking, event coordination, financial and bookkeeping.  Please consider attending one of our monthly meetings ( or email us at if you or someone you know would like to volunteer, 


See you at an upcoming events - it's Blues In The Koots!


JULY 2018

Dear KBS members and blues lovers!

Heads up on 3 great show coming up....

Texas blues legend and blues hall of fame recipient, Sonny Rhodes rolls into the Kootenays for three shows in July. The Kootenay Blues Society presents the Sonny Rhodes Blues Band featuring Greg Smith at the Flying Steamshovel in Rossland on Thurs July 19, Show time 8:30, Tickets $20 at the door ~ Balfour Beach Inn on Friday July  20, Show 6-9, Tickets $15 at the door, ~ Finley’s Bar and Grille on Sat. July 21, Show time 8pm, Tickets $20 at the door, $15 for KBS members. Tickets are available in advance or at the door.. -


Texas blues legend and blues hall of fame recipient, Sonny Rhodes rolls into the Kootenays for three shows in July. The Kootenay Blues Society presents the Sonny Rhodes Blues Band featuring Greg Smith at the Flying Steamshovel in Rossland on Thurs July 19, Show time 8:30, Tickets $20 at the door ~ Balfour Beach Inn on Friday July 20, Show 6-9, Tickets $15 at the door, ~ Finley’s Bar and Grille on Sat. July 21, Show time 8pm, Tickets $20 at the door, $15 for KBS members. Tickets are available in advance or at the door.

Lap-steel guitarist and singer Sonny Rhodes was born and raised in a sharecropping family in Smithville ,Texas and has been playing music professionally since the 50s. He made his recording debut in 1958 and continues to record to this day, with his latest recording released in 2017. He has recorded over 200 songs: "I'm what you call a self-proclaimed Disciple of the Blues!" said Rhodes about his years playing and singing for fans of blues around the world. He has been nominated 15 times for blues music awards and won in 2011 in the instrumental category. Rhodes also recorded “The Ballad of Serenity”, the theme music for the television series Firefly.

Sonny first started playing around Austin, Texas before moving to the San Francisco bay area, where he played bass accompanying guitarists Freddie King and Albert Collins. 

He has played the San Francisco Blues Festival 6 times, the Musicamdo Jazz and Blues Festival in Italy, as well as festivals in Spain as recently as 2015 and the Kaslo Jazz Fest in 2017.

Sonny Rhodes has toured North America and Europe countless times and is one of the last of the hardcore travelling bluesmen, thinking nothing of driving from Calgary to Helena, Arkansas then on to San Franscisco to spread his brand of Texas blues to appreciative blues lovers.

Be sure to get your KBS membership, only $10 and purchase one of our awesome KBS t-shirts while you're there. $25 ~ Members $20 ~ See you on the dance floor!

Check out for more details.

Thx, KBS 


MAY 2018

Sonny Rhodes, J W Jones, KBS Fundraiser and more.....

Koots Blues News - May 2018

WELCOME to our first issue of the Koots Blues News E-Newsletter!  We'll keep you informed of the latest about the KBS, upcoming blues music related events and let you know how you can get involved.

KBS Mission Statement

The Kootenay Blues Society is a registered, non profit society based in Nelson, BC. Our mission is to preserve blues music, its culture, heritage and tradition within the East and West Kootenay by promoting local and regional blues artists and exposing Kootenay audiences to local, national and international blues performers.

Interim Board of Directors

Frank Brooke (President), Judy Brown (Vice-President), Richard Metzner (Treasurer), Stelio Calagias (Secretary), Gerald Beaudry, Mike Bennett, Jon Burden, Steve Fountain, Rob MacPherson, Dan Obradovic, Steven Wasilenkoff, and Phil Wilson-Birks.

Kootenay Blues History

The Kootenay’s have had a colourful blues history and many legendary blues musicians have graced Kootenay stages over the years. Artists as diverse as Willie Dixon and The Chicago All Stars, Charlie Musselwhite, Duke Robillard, Downchild Blues Band, James Cotton, John Mayall, BB King, Sonny Rhodes and The Golden State Lone Star Revue have all appeared in both East and West Kootenay venues. The Kootenay’s has a long running, blues music program on Kootenay Coop Radio CJLY FM in Nelson. Make Room For The Blues (with host Richard Metzner), which airs every Friday from 7 – 9pm and again on Saturday’s between 12 and 2pm.

The KBS supported The Terry Hancks show in Nelson in September of 2017 and most recently, along with Kootenay Coop Radio, presented the 5th annual Blues, Brews and BBQ. This successful event saw stellar performances by David Vest and his All Star Band as well as local acts, Flaming Aardvark Trio and The Clinton Swanson R&B Revue.

We plan on bringing more great blues acts to the area, eventually becoming involved in educating younger generations by bringing blues to the schools and offering local blues musicians a chance to become involved in the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in affiliation with The Blues Foundation.

Upcoming Events


Sat, May 26th at Finley’s in Nelson

7:00 pm

Come down and hear some great local music and support the Kootenay Blues Society.  $15 in advance or at the door

Featuring performances by:

Flaming Aardvark Trio, Jon Burden Band and Friends, White Lightning Blues Band, Baker Street Blues



Blues Hall Of Fame recipient from California (three shows):

Thur, July 19

The Flying Steamshovel, Rossland

Fri, July 20

Balfour Beach Inn, Balfour

Sat, July 21

Finley’s, Nelson



Juno nominee and Billboard top selling artist, from Ottawa

His band includes Laura Greenberg, who won the 2017 Maple Blues Award for bassist of the year

Thurs, Oct 25

The Flying Steamshovel


Fri, Oct. 26

Finley’s, Nelson

We are also working on confirming two legendary California musicians, Alabama Mike and Country Pete McGill for the fall.  

KBS T-Shirts

Another exciting development is the first edition Kootenay Blues Society T shirts, which will be available shortly for purchase on the website and at upcoming shows. We have also just been enthusiastically invited by the Inland Empire Blues Society to become part of the Blues Festival loop in the Pacific Northwest. So you can expect to see a blues festival in the Nelson area in the future.

Live Music Listings

Email us at with Date, Start time, location and address to get your live music event listed on our website, and in an upcoming newsletter. Or click here==>Submit Your Event

Fri, May 11

  • Baker Street Blues:  7:30pm  Kokanee Pub (123 9 Ave S, Creston)
  • Holly Hyatt and Jon Burden:  7:30 PM  Finley’s  (705 Vernon St, Nelson)

Sun, May 13

  • Mothers Day Brunch w Blues Brothers-In-Law:  10am-1pm  The West Coast Grill (701 Lakeside drive, Nelson)

Fri, May 18

  • Baker Street Blues: 8pm  Bluebelle Bistro (347 Front St. Kaslo)

Sat, May 26

  • KBS Fundraiser: 7pm Finley's (705 Vernon St. Nelson)

Tues, May 29

  • MonkeyJunk with Jon Burden Band: 7pm Spirit Bar (422 Vernon St. Nelson)

Fri, June 1

  • Baker Street Blues: 8pm Arlington ( 975 Spokane St. Trail)

Fri, June 8

  • Lazy Poker Blues Band: 7:30 pm Finley's (705 Vernon St. Nelson)

Sun, July 1

  • Holly Hyatt and Jon Burden: 8pm Silverton Gallery(Hwy 6 Silverton)

Sat, July 7            

  • Clinton Swanson and Friends: 7:30pm Silverton Memorial Hall (Hwy 6 Silverton)

For more upcoming live blues in the Koots check the KBS website events page


Get Involved

There are lots of ways you can get involved with the Kootenay Blues Society:

And be sure to forward this email to your Blues Lovin' Friends in the Kootenays!

Proud supporters of KBS are The Flying Steamshovel in Rossland, The Balfour Beach Inn in Balfour, Finley’s Bar and Grille, Front Street Dance Studio and Kootenay Coop Radio in Nelson.